1. What is a Registered Agent?
2. Types of Registered Agents
3. Location of a Registered Agent
4. Responsibilities of a Registered Agent
5. How to Find a Registered Agent in Texas
6. Changing a Registered Agent

A registered agent for LLC in Texas is an individual or company that is responsible for receiving service of process notifications and other official correspondences on behalf of a limited liability company (LLC) in Texas. In all states, appointing a registered agent is a requirement for forming an LLC.

What is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is also known as a resident agent. In the U.S., it is mandatory for an LLC to appoint a registered agent to perform a number of tasks, including:

  • receiving legal documents that are served against the LLC, such as lawsuits and legal notices.
  • receiving tax and other official business documents on the company's behalf.
  • serving as the company's official “contact person.”

Texas requires all business entities to appoint a registered agent before they can start operating in the state. In order to become an LLC, a business is required to file certain organizational documents, one of which is the Certificate of Formation. In the Certificate of Formation, the business must clearly indicate the person or organization that is appointed as the official person for receiving legal documents. As such, the state and all organizations and individuals who conduct business with the company will know who to send the documents to.

If a company in Texas fails to appoint and maintain a registered agent, it will be subject to a fine or administrative termination. While appointing a registered agent is a fairly simple process, it is important that an LLC makes its selection carefully. A registered agent serves as the first line of defense against legal problems and provides protection against default judgments.

Types of Registered Agents

An LLC can appoint a person or business as a registered agent, but the selected agent has to meet certain requirements.

  • Individual - If the LLC appoints an individual, he or she must be 18 years or older.
  • Business – The selected business organization must be authorized to do business in Texas.
  • Third-party company – An LLC can also hire a third-party company as its registered agent. The cost of hiring a third-party company can vary significantly from one company to another.

Location of a Registered Agent

An individual who is chosen to act as a registered agent for an LLC is required to have a physical residence in Texas. A business or third-party company that serves as a registered agent must have an office in Texas. Also known as the registered office, the registered agent's office must be an actual street address, not a mail service or post office box. The registered office does not necessarily have to be the place of business of the entity.

If an organization is chosen as a registered agent, it must be able to receive legal and other important notices at the registered office during business hours.  

Responsibilities of a Registered Agent

An LLC's registered agent is responsible for maintaining the Operating Agreement and Articles of Organization of the company. The registered agent must keep these documents at the registered office. In addition, the LLC is required to provide its registered agent with a forwarding address. The registered agent must forward all legal, tax, and other important documents to the provided forwarding address. If an LLC fails to appoint a registered agent, it may not receive notifications of lawsuits against it.

An LLC is allowed to appoint itself as its registered agent, but it will not enjoy the same level of privacy as an LLC that appoints another party as a registered agent. It may suffer embarrassment if its lawsuit documents are shown to clients, vendors, and customers.

How to Find a Registered Agent in Texas

An LLC can follow these steps to find a registered agent in Texas:      

  • Conduct a business name search on the official website of the Texas Secretary of State.
  • Enter the name of the company it is searching for.
  • Look at the name and street address of the Texas registered agent.

Changing a Registered Agent

If an LLC in Texas wishes to change its registered agent, it can do so by paying a fee of $15. The process of replacing a registered agent takes three days.

If you need help with appointing a registered agent for your LLC in Texas, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.”